Posts Tagged ‘ Norman Brown ’

Norman Brown – Heart To Heart

Louisiana born guitar star Norman Brown is not only popular among his fans, affectionately called the Normantics. It speaks for his quality that every music critic thinks highly of him and he also enjoys an excellent reputation among famous musicians like Gorge Benson. Everything is confirmed by sales figures that go into the platinum range and finally his work is crowned by winning a GRAMMY.

Norman is not a musician who rests on his merits, he is dedicated to his music with too much heart blood. His newest project is Heart To Heart, which will be released on August 7, 2020. This is his 12th album and the third on Shanachie Entertainment. Norman called and they all came. The following musicians have joined his project: Lew Laing (keys), Roberto Vally (bass), Paul Brown (drums and Wah Wah guitar), Lee Thornburg (trumpet and horn arrangement), Greg Vail (sax), Lenny Castro (percussion), Peter White (nylon guitar), Jeff Carruthers (keys, drum and bass programming), Jeff Lorber (piano, keys), Teddy Campbell (drums), Gregg Karukas (keys), David Mann (horns), Chris “Big Dog” Davis (drums, bass, keyboards programming), Phil Davis (keys and drum programming), Sonny Emory (drums), Sean Michael Ray (bass), Gary Novak (drums), Nate Kearny (bass), Lil’ John Roberts (drums), Tres Gilbert (bass), and Ira Moore IV (vocals).

Legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery is one of Norman’s idols, deeply influencing his music. Heading Wes is Norman’s tribute to this guitar giant and also to Norman’s father who was an avid lover of Wes’ music. The combination of Norman Brown and Peter White on the title track promises a musical delicacy and indeed both masters of their instruments find the perfect harmonies and interplay.

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Norman Brown – Heart To Heart

“I wrote and recorded Heart To Heart as a message to my fellow Beings to remember that the essential quality of our nature was made divine, as one race, governed by one world. We must abandon the perception that we are made to exist independently, therefore, not unified, divided by selfishness, creating greed to fulfill our quest for survival,” explains the multi-platinum selling, chart-topping and Grammy award-winning guitarist Norman Brown. Norman whose love affair with the guitar began at age eight was dubbed by George Benson as “one of the greatest and most articulate guitarists out there.” Brown’s charisma and versatility has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with a cross-section of Jazz and R&B stars including George Benson, Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Miki Howard, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Peabo Bryson, and Chanté Moore, to name a few.

JazzTimes Magazine touts that the Shreveport, LA born and Kansas City, KS raised guitarist is “a culmination of Jimi Hendrix and George Benson with some of Wes Montgomery thrown in.” AllMusic raves that Brown is one of “contemporary jazz’s brightest lights…a master player and improviser.” Udiscover Music named Norman Brown in the top “50 Best Jazz Guitarists of All Time.” At a time where there is so much divisiveness, Norman Brown asks each of us to search within to recognize our own divine light and to receive the divine wisdom that surrounds us every day. “All of us are made from the same source making us interconnected, interrelated and therefore interdependent,” shares the Atlanta based musician. “We have to exchange love, Heart To Heart in order to achieve world salvation and loving peace on earth.” At the core of Brown’s work based on the principles of universal law, wisdom from the Ancient Egyptian Spiritual System “The Paut Neteru Of Anu,” The Tree of Life which focuses on peace, truth, balance, order, harmony, morality and justice. Brown’s spiritual way of being is undoubtedly an attribute that has endeared him to an ever-growing and devoted fan-base. He affectionately calls his fans Normantics!

On August 7, 2020, Shanachie Entertainment will release Heart To Heart, Norman Brown’s 12th recording as a leader and third for the label. Shanachie Entertainment VP of Jazz A&R, Danny Weiss, states, “At the risk of being blasphemous, Norman is the true successor to Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Like them, he’s a jazz musician of the highest order, but you hardly notice because you’re having so much fun listening to him.” Heart To Heart is a gorgeous collection of originals composed by Brown and various album personnel, that fuse the best elements of Jazz, R&B, Pop, Blues and beyond. It is a soul-stirring and heart-warming journey fitting for this time of uncertainly. The introspective guitarist says, “We have been given the golden opportunity of having the Earth stop. We all have wanted to stop the grind and catch our breath, refresh our thoughts and learn something new. This halting of everything is really the silver lining and an opportunity to find our ‘Master Key’ to the rich quality this life blesses us to experience.” Continue reading

Norman Brown – The Highest Act of Love

Louisiana born guitar star Norman Brown has very successfully established himself in the smooth jazz genre. His numerous albums and appearances as well as his popular collaboration in the super group BWB with Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun have contributed to this.

His new album The Highest Act Of Love (2019) was just released on Shanachie Entertainment. Beside guitarist Norman Brown the promotion mentions guitarist and producer Paul Brown and singer Deniece Williams. But this album has some more musical supporters such as Chris “Big Dog” Davis (keyboards, bass, drum programming), Roberto Vally, Emanuel Wells, Tres Gilbert (bass), Lew Laing (keyboards), Gordon Campbell, Lil John Roberts (drums), Kim Waters (various instruments), and Phil Davis (keyboards and drum programming).

Love is the focus of this album. On Inside the Garden of Peace and Love, recorded in Paul’s studio The Funky Joint, the guitar sounds of Paul and Norman merge in a marvelous way to a smooth duet. The King Is Here is created by Chris “Big Dog” Davis and Norman. While Norman indulges in his well-known diversity of guitar riffs, Chris provides the remaining infrastructure with variations of luscious sounds and grooves.

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Norman Brown – The Highest Act of Love

“I see life as a spiritual experience and life expressed through music adds a dynamic quality,” says Grammy winning guitarist, singer and producer Norman Brown. With an enviable career that has spanned close to three decades, the consummate hit-maker has masterfully created the soundtrack for many of our lives with his irresistible mélange of Jazz, R&B, Pop, Blues and beyond. Brown’s philosophy is simple when it comes to categorizing music. He explains, “There are only two types; good and bad.” JazzTimes Magazine touts that the guitarist is “a culmination of Jimi Hendrix and George Benson with some of Wes Montgomery thrown in,” while AllMusic raves that Brown is one of “contemporary jazz’s brightest lights…as master player and improviser.” Norman Brown’s charisma and versatility has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with a cross-section of Jazz and R&B stars including Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Miki Howard, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Everette Harp and Chanté Moore, to name a few. On February 22, 2019, Shanachie Entertainment will release Brown’s eleventh recording as a leader, The Highest Act Of Love. The Atlanta based musicians’s most inspired CD yet, features special guest R&B legend Deniece Williams, as well as fellow guitarist Paul Brown. When it comes to personal aspirations, the multi-platinum selling guitarist shares, “This is my gift and offering to my fans and my bid is that the music will be impactful, joyous and entertaining, and bring a sense of peace and understanding.”

The Highest Act of Love features eleven soul-stirring and thought provoking tracks of mostly originals that celebrate the spiritual and personal journey within each of us. Norman explains that there is a theme that unites all of the tracks. “Everything I choose has content and elements that reveal a message of love,” states the guitarist. At the core of Brown’s work is his grounding in his faith and the principals of Maat, the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, morality and justice. These tenants of wisdom and knowledge inform Brown’s own life and music. With the release of Brown’s new CD he is fulfilling a mission as the title The Highest Act Of Love suggests. He explains the ancient Egyptian wisdom taught to him by his Sage, Ra Un Nefer Amen, the high Priest and Founder of the Ausar/Auset Society.

“My body is the vessel of God on earth. Fulfilling God’s need is the highest act of love,” notes Brown. “The process of loving God first, then yourself allows you to then love everyone else.” It is only fitting that the serenity and beauty of “Inside The Garden Of Peace and Love” open The Highest Act of Love.” The tender ballad unites Brown with fellow guitarist Paul Brown. “Paul started the magic,” shares Brown. “We composed this song together and our chemistry was firing on all cylinders and the groove was smooth.” The ebullient “The King Is Here” is a song that dates back to 2002 that Norman finally brings to life on The Highest Act Of Love. Brown’s original “Words Of Wisdom” reminds us all to listen to your intuition from inside as your guide and to be open to receiving messages as revelations for “divine wisdom” to resolve setbacks/conflicts/problems in order to bring peace and balance in your life.” The song takes on another special meaning for Norman as it features the vocals of a dear friend, Baby Lee. “She never had the opportunity to be featured on a major recording. Shortly after recording her feature performance, she became ill and passed away. Thankfully, her husband was able to play her the song while she was in the hospital. She passed away two days later.” Continue reading

Norman Brown – The Highest Act Of Love

Norman Brown has sold over two-million albums and is a mainstay on the contemporary jazz charts. When the iconic and pioneering guitarist George Benson sings your praises you know you are a bad man! Benson has heralded the consummate hit-maker, Norman Brown, as one of the greatest guitarists around today. Like Benson, Brown effortlessly fuses the finer elements of jazz, R&B, pop and blues to create his own insatiable and instantly identifiable and soulful sound. Brown declares, “My blending and crossing of styles happens organically by allowing the content to reveal its elements. There are only two kinds of music – ‘good and bad.’” Brown has made a career of churning out the ‘good stuff’ for over two decades. His unique elixir of urban contemporary jazz has allowed him to garner a devoted international following and an impressive career as a leader. He has also collaborated with the likes of Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum, Miki Howard, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Everette Harp and Chanté Moore, to name a few.

The Highest Act Of Love, Norman Brown’s latest CD, is due out on Shanachie Entertainment on February 22, 2019, and has something for everyone (whether an R&B fan or a Jazz aficionado). Highlights include a beautiful collaboration with R&B legend Deniece Williams on her signature song “Free”” (from her gold-certified This Is Niecy album) and the bluesy guitar duet “Inside The Garden Of Peace And Love” with Paul Brown. Norman Brown’s inspired latest CD proves that he is at his best and that his musical offering is truly one of the highest acts of love!

Pre-order the new album now on Amazon.com.

Norman Brown – Let It Go

Premium guitarist Norman Brown took his time since his previous solo album Sending My Love (2010). That was probably caused by his collaborations with Gerald Albright (24/7) and the group BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown) releasing Human Nature (2013) and BWB (2016).

Let It Go (2017) is Norman’s debut at Shanachie Entertainment. What makes an instrumental guitar album to something very special? The arrangement? The performance? The talent? Musical enthusiasm? Certainly a bit of everything. But also important is the overall concept of the album.

Norman developed a coherent approach, a spiritual plan for the ultimate acoustic moment. The intro Lessons of the Spirit shows this intellectual style in musical implementation. Like George Benson is Norman one of the blessed guitarists always on the quest after the ideal melody. It Keeps Coming Back is the prove that he is often very close to the target.

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Norman Brown – Let It Go

One can feel his vibrant energy, when Norman Brown fiercely performs onstage. Assembling a huge fan community he is one of the shining stars of this genre. All started with his debut Just Between Us (1992), followed by the albums After The Storm (1994),  Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (2000),  Just Chillin’ (2002), West Coast Coolin’ (2004),  Stay With Me (2007) and Sending My Love, (2010).

Let It Go, Norman’s inspired debut album for Shanachie Records, has something for everyone, whether an R&B fan or a jazz aficionado. From “Holding You,” his sensuous collaboration with R&B great Chanté Moore and Norman’s re-imagining of the Five Stairsteps classic “Ooh Child” to the smoothly grooving “Remember Who You Are” and the serenely inspired “Let It Go,” Let It Go is Norman Brown at his best.

You can pre-order this album at Amazon.com.

BWB – BWB

BWBBWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort Human Nature (2013) they reunited on Heads Up Music to do a Michael Jackson songbook. Their third strike is aptly entitled BWB and released in 2016 on Mack Avenue Records.

The formation is joined on selected tracks by Hamilton Hardin and Herman Jackson (keyboards), Braylon Lacey and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. (bass), Third Richardson and Gordon Campbell (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Demille Cole-Heard (vocals) and Ralph Lofton (Hammond B3). The new album is the result of exercises in Braun’s suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week.

The recorded songs are without any exception own creations, masterly produced by Rick Braun. Triple Dare starts the album with an horn arrangement inspired by The Crusader’s Streetlife. Bust A Move brings the funky vibe into the session. Instead of covers like on the trio’s debut album, they showcase their personal prowess on this party burner.

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BWB – BWB

BWBYou can almost smell the tangy barbecue sauce dripping from the forthcoming third album “BWB” by chart-topping trio BWB, who throw down like a sweaty garage band at a Memphis backyard house party on their debut for the Artistry Music label arriving April 22. It’s the first time the band made up of GRAMMY® winners Norman Brown (guitar, vocals) and Kirk Whalum (saxophone, flute, vocals) and Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, vocals) cooked up a festive, sticky-fingered feast of ten new contemporary jazz, R&B, soul and funk joints. Braun produced the session in his suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week. The result is a collaborative disc celebrating brotherhood and live music. The tantalizing title track is the first radio cut, which enters Billboard’s Top 10 on next week’s singles chart and appears to be ticketed for the top spot.

Anytime the three solo stars get together to record, it’s an instant candidate for event album of the year in the contemporary jazz world. BWB has been itching to record original material ever since they first recorded as a high-wattage trio in 2002 when they released a collection of covers entitled “Groovin’.” Over a decade later, they reunited as a combo in 2013 with “Human Nature,” paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s songbook and scoring their first No 1 hit with “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground).” This time around, they decided to compose the material entirely on their own, creating party jams specifically with their spirited live shows in mind.

As Braun tells it, “A long time ago in a faraway galaxy, three brothers dreamed of recording a CD of all original material as a band. Although the evil forces of time and geography stood in their way for many years, a dream is a powerful idea and ultimately the collective, creative force will prevail. And in that spirit, Norman and Kirk moved into my house for a short week with their loved ones. We played our horns, sang, drank wine, wrote, laughed and lived together. Thus it began!” Continue reading

BWB – Human Nature

Michael Jackson throws after his death still a powerful shadow. After Bob Baldwin’s tribute album Never Can Say Goodbye three further giants of smooth jazz present their very own homage Human Nature (2013). BWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort they reunited to do a Michael Jackson songbook.

The formation is joined by John Stoddart (keyboards), Braylon Lacey (bass), Khari Parker (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion) and Ralph Lofton (organ). To do an album of just covers carries some risk, especially when the original is so often played. On the other hand good jazz musicians have to overcome such obstacles.

That said the trio improvise on Another Part Of Me presenting their special skills and perfect written arrangement, thus transforming a well-known tune to a jazzy element. With Billie Jean they showcase brilliantly created harmonies. The concept is illustrated anew with the song Human Nature. A simple designed melody develops to a well thought out piece.

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